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TitleHow To: Data Buffet - Series Availability Stack
AuthorPhillip Thorne
Question

You are looking for a certain indicator with given units, adjustment, and frequency, and it doesn't exist as a native time series; what alternatives should you check?

Answer

The Data Buffet catalog does not contain every time series you might want; for brevity, we usually carry only the fundamental measure (level at highest available frequency). You can then modify or mix-and-match to suit your needs.

We recommend this exploratory strategy:

  1. Is the series reported by a source, and do we republish it natively?
  2. Did we create a supplemental series as a convenience?
  3. Can you perform a simple change to a single series using our inbuilt tools?
    • Convert the frequency
    • Apply a common analytic transformation (simple or Y/Y, difference or percent change, annualized growth)
    • Advanced transformation (lead/lag, logarithmic, moving average or sum)
  4. Can you build a custom formula?
    • Apply a more complex transformation
    • Synthesize several native series

For instance:

  • We have a daily stock index, but you can convert it to a monthly average.
  • We have the NSA index reported by the source, and have created a supplemental SA supplement.
  • We have a monthly employment level, but you can show the year-over-year level change.
  • We have trade expressed in one currency, but you can write a formula with an exchange rate to translate it to another currency.
  • We have nominal GDP and a deflator, so you can compute real GDP.

There are certain analyses that cannot, at this time, be performed within Data Buffet:

  • Seasonal adjustment
  • Conversion from a moving index base to a fixed base